Add text and data

Resize and merge cells and align data

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You can change the way data appears in a cell by merging cells, and aligning, wrapping, or rotating text.

Align cell data

  1. Select a cell or cell range in your worksheet.

  2. On the Home tab select a text alignment option. You can align text at the top, middle, or bottom of the cell, and to the left, center, or right of the cell.

    Note: You may not be able to change the alignment, based on the format of the cell.

Add a line break within a cell

  1. Select the cell.

  2. Type the text you want on the first line.

  3. On the keyboard, press Alt + Enter to add a line break.

  4. Type the next you want on the next line.

  5. Press Enter.

Make a cell taller or wider

  1. Place the cursor on the line between the cell and next cell.

  2. Drag the line to the height or width you want.

Wrap Text

  1. Select a cell or cell range.

  2. Select Home > Wrap Text.

Merge cells

  1. Select the cells you want to merge.

  2. SelectHome > Merge & Center.

    Note:  To later unmerge cells, select Unmerge Cells from the Merge & Center drop-down.

Rotate cell data

  1. Select a cell or cell range.

  2. Select Home > Alignment Settings Alignment Settings .

  3. In Orientation, edit the degree of rotation the cell data.

  4. Select OK.

    Note: Note: You can also select Home > Orientation Orientation and select an option from the drop-down.

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Rotate or align cell data in Excel

Merge cells

Wrap text in a cell

The text entries we see in Column A, from A4 downward look just fine to me and probably to you, too.

On the other hand, how might they look if they were aligned on the right side of the cell?

In the Alignment group on the Home tab, here's Right Aligned.

Easy to make a change, easy to reject.

Text is automatically left-aligned, and notice that when these cells are highlighted even though Left Align isn't selected they are aligned on the left.

We possibly could center them, possibly on the right.

And you might change your mind at different times.

With numbers, particularly they're used computationally I would strongly suggest don't try and change these.

Now, depending upon the format some of these could change and so sometimes you could be encountering a worksheet that does have alignment that you don't want.

Could these be left-aligned?

Some of them are, some of them are not.

If I got a worksheet like this, one of the first things I'd do is line these up on the right.

I'd highlight them and turn off that Left-Align button.

So, sometimes you have to make your own choices.

For some numbers like these, you might to try and center them or Left Align them and it just doesn't work.

So, based on the format that's being used, you might or might not be able to re-align certain kinds of numerical entries.

Now we can also align, but it only has relevance when we have taller rows Bottom, Middle or Top.

So let's create a situation where we might want to use that feature.

I'm going to change the entry in cell H3 to be First Half Total.

Now we might want to wrap this text so that it appears First Half and then below it Total in the same cell.

And there are two ways to do this.

I'm going to type First Half and press Alt-Enter.

That forces a line wrap and then put in Total.

And as I press Enter, watch Row Three get taller.

Happens like that. Now, this is in the bottom of the cell it's in the middle or the top.

Now, there's no difference here unless we made that row taller.

I'm going to make Row Three taller pointing on the boundary between three and four.

Now, I don't really need to do this but I want to bring out this idea that there could be times when you're seeing data like this with this being the only one in the row we're probably not going to use this feature but we could align this in the middle or align it on top.

Do be aware of that.

Not so much in the example here, but in other situations where you are seeing titles like this.

Now, I'm going to undo some of the recent actions Control-Z, Control-Z, Control-Z a few times here and actually go back to here.

Another way to perform wrap text a bit longer but it does get you around the idea that short cuts that you're not always aware of.

First Half, space. Now the reaction could be, "I don't want "to make the column wider, "it's too wide."

What could we do here?

On the Alignment tab in the Home group we've got a choice called Wrap Text.

Let's click it. Now, it doesn't always wrap the text where you want it to but on the other hand, it gets the job done and sometimes you might need to do this to multiple cells. So, that's a use of it, as well.

Another feature that we need from time to time is merging.

The title on this worksheet is called "Sales and Profits First Half Projections".

It's in cell A1 and currently it's spilling all the way over into E1.

Now, we might want to center this across the data.

Could we move it into C1 or D1 and hope that it's going to work there?

Well, we could. But, on the other hand, we might highlight these cells all the way across.

Remember, the data, the text itself is only in cell A1. But here's the choice Merge and Center. That turns it into one big cell.

In this worksheet right now, there is no B1, C1, D1, et cetera all the way over to E1.

But there is an A1 and it's a much wider cell.

We can do the same thing here. Could we have done them together?

I'm going to press Control-Z. We could highlight these cells like this.

Now what happens here if we press Merge and Center?

A pop-up message says, "Merging only keeps "the upper left cell and discards the other value."

Here's what would happen.

I'll do an Undo after I do this.

We see that it's thrown away the other data.

Let's press Control-Z here.

We could highlight the data this way and then let go of the left mouse button and using the Control key, highlight this data.

We've selected two different areas using the Control key.

Now I can do Merge and Center this way.

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